This walkthrough will help you earn an S Rank score in the Metallic Archaea story mission in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and includes a list of the mandatory and optional objectives available for this mission. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to complete all the optional objectives to earn an S Rank. All you need is an accumulated score of 130,000 or more, and completing the mission quickly can give you a higher score from the time bonus. Although we will focus on completing this mission quickly, we will also help you complete some of the optional objectives in the process to earn a higher score. 

Objectives 

  • Eliminate the Skulls (Mandatory).
  • Extract Code Talker (Mandatory).
  • Complete the mission without being grabbed by a puppet soldier (Optional).
  • Extract the Skulls (Optional).

Walkthrough 

This mission will require some heavy firepower with high penetration. Equip yourself with a rocket launcher, grenade launcher, machine gun, or a strong sniper rifle before heading into this mission, as well as some decoys. Also, some players have reported that taking Quiet into this mission can corrupt your save files, so it may be best to avoid bringing Quiet along for this mission until a future game update.

At the start of this mission you will immediately be surrounded by the Skulls, so prepare to run away as soon as the mission begins. Equip and drop a few decoys to help buy you some time as you run away from the enemies. Remember to also mark the Skulls so that you can keep track of their movements and locations. 

Maintain some distance between you and the Skulls, and use your powerful weapon of choice to begin taking them out. We chose to use a combination of the grenade launcher and rocket launcher to start blasting away at the Skulls’ health bars. Do your best to ignore the puppet soldiers that show up in the area, and just focus on taking down the four large Skulls that approach you. Use your iDROID to call in a resupply if necessary.

Continue to keep far away from the Skulls, blasting them with your high penetration weapons from a distance until you have neutralized all of the Skulls in the area.  If you are able to make your way to the rooftop of the main building, this will give you a better vantage point for eliminating the Skulls. If you move quickly, you can approach the downed Skulls and attach your Fulton Recovery Device to each of them for extraction. Each Skull you extract will earn you extra points, but keep in mind that they will disappear once the mission ends. It is best to extract them as soon as they are neutralized during the mission so that you don’t miss out on those valuable bonus points. 

Now, head over to the crashed helicopter where Code Talker is located. If you come across soldiers lying on the ground, you can always choose to send them back to Mother Base with your Fulton Recovery Device to add to your crew. Just make sure to move quickly so that you do not hinder your time bonus for S Rank.

Pick up Code Talker near the crashed chopper and carry him to the landing zone of the extraction helicopter, completing the mission. If you were not grabbed by any puppet soldiers, this will grant you 5000 extra points, and extracting the Skulls will also give you about 4000 points each. Combined with the Perfect Stealth, No Kills multiplier as well as the time bonus, you should have earned the S Rank rating with little trouble. 

Continue with Mission 30: Skull Face, or return to the Metal Gear Solid 5: Walkthrough and Guide.